Chronic illness in older people

Leonard C Gray and Ian A Scott
Med J Aust 2003; 179 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2003.tb05528.x
Published online: 1 September 2003

The majority of older people remain in good health until a relatively short period before their death. Most of those who acquire chronic illness tend to have only mild to moderate disability and are not dependent on others for life’s basic tasks. Common chronic diseases associated with mild disability include arthritis, hypertension, ischaemic heart disease and diabetes mellitus.

  • 1 Academic Unit in Geriatric Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.
  • 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.


  • 1. Mathers C, Vos T, Stevenson C. The burden of disease and injury in Australia. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1999.
  • 2. Department of the Treasury. Intergenerational report 2002–03. Budget Paper No. 5. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2002. Available at: (accessed Jul 2003).


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